Search Generates 21% of Page Views on the Web [Study]

Researches at Yahoo concluded an interesting study on Internet search and as per the study, searches and the pages browsed as a result of the searches account for 21.4 precent overall of all pages, i.e. search is responsible for 1 in 5 pageviews on the Internet.

The study was conducted using Yahoo toolbar dataset, containing random sample of US users drawn from Yahoo! toolbar logs over a one week period from March 18, 2009 to March 24, 2009.
The number of pageviews in the dataset is around 50M, with around 7.2M pageviews per day over the weekdays and around 6.5M per day over the weekends.

Though the study may not be true representation (needs a broader sample size), it does provide interesting insights on searchers behavior

  • General and specific product queries represent around 20% of overall search queries, and are of great interest as they represent a monetizable user intent.
  • Main web search represents 6.2% of all pageviews, multimedia search 1.4% and item search aother 1.4%.
  • These 9% of search pageviews are responsible for an additional 8.9% of pageviews that are direct referrals, and yet another 3.5% of indirect referrals, resulting in a total of 21.4% of overall pageviews that are either on search, or reached through search.

Top Categories and Query %age

  • Event – 2.31
  • Games – 1.15
  • Notable person – 13.08
  • Ordinary person – 4.42
  • Specific product – 11.35
  • General product – 8.56
  • Places – 4.90
  • Business Categories/Services – 7.69
  • Health Issues – 1.35
  • Real estate – 1.15
  • Media title (names of movies, ED albums, etc.) – 10.10
  • Organization (businesses, nonprofits, government) – 33.94

The study finds that roughly 90% of search queries are either navigational, or contain reference to some structured object, topic, or concept. These are dominated by queries that contain a direct central reference to an object.

An interesting study that boosts the research going on the new paradigms of search, for instance semantic search etc.

»Link to the report (pdf).

Also see: Why do we surf the web?

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